Motorcycle clothing safety ratings program MotoCAP has set a target of testing 10% of available jackets, pants and gloves in its first year of operation.
MotoCAP launched last month with only 10 pairs of protective jeans and 10 leather jackets tested, and no gloves listed.
We have tried to contact a MotoCAP spokesperson for details of when more clothing will be tested and results shared on their website.
Finally we received a response from a Transport for NSW spokesperson who tells us the priority for testing products and categories was established by Deakin University who carry out the tests.
“Tests on gloves have been conducted and the results will be published soon,” the spokesperson says.
“Leather pants and textile jackets are currently being selected for tests.
“The aim in the first year of testing is to select 10% of protective jackets, pants and gloves that are available at multiple outlets in the Australian and New Zealand markets.”
With thousands of motorcycle clothing products on the market, that is a significant target and the testers will be very busy.
The Transport for NSW spokesperson says they surveyed the market to identify what products are available.
The first items were selected using a “random number generator”.
“The samples are then weighted to ensure a fair distribution of product types. For example, if 60% of jackets on the market are textile, then 60% of jackets selected for ratings will be textile.”
The clothing was bought anonymously from stores and local online outlets.
Two of each jacket and pants and three pairs of gloves are tested.
Each test item is bought from a different outlet, with at least one of each being bought in a shop, and one online to ensure they come from different stock batches.
Invitation to industry
The motorcycle clothing industry was not invited to pay for testing before the launch to guarantee independence.
However, they can now submit products and pay for MotoCAP to test and rate them.
The spokesperson says the fee will be kept low to cover costs and “to encourage industry to commission the testing”.
“MotoCAP is not for profit and no partners will retain any portion of this fee,” the spokesperson says.
Companies can voluntarily advertise their rating using the MotoCAP logo.
Since the launch, Transport for NSW has fielded industry enquiries but as yet no ratings have been commissioned by manufacturers or suppliers.
The spokesperson says MotoCAP website has received 4000 visitors and 500 have subscribed for updates on newly tested products.
“The ultimate goal of MotoCAP is to reduce road trauma and injury severity for motorcyclists,” the spokesperson says.
“It is hoped this will be achieved by raising consumer awareness of, and demand for, better protective clothing, and manufacturers and suppliers will respond to that demand.
“The MotoCAP rating system will be continually monitored and feedback will be considered to identify any improvements that can be made.”
The only local products in the first test results are jeans from DriRider, Draggin Jeans and Saint.
Draggin’s Next Gen seamless jeans top-scored (along with Triumph Hero Riding jeans) with four stars for safety and three for comfort.
DriRider Rapid and Saint Model 2 jeans both scored two stars for safety and three for comfort.
Draggin Jeans boss Grant Macintosh says he wasn’t advised of the testing until he saw it on the website.
“I welcome it because riders deserve to know these results,” he says.
“I suspect many other brands would not be happy and it’s now known the claims they have been making are apparently false.
“We got AAA under the new EU standards as well. That’s the top rating.
“Of course we always get our products tested before putting them on the market anyway.
“We have had our products tested at SATRA, IDIADA , Dr. Rod Woods, German and French labs and I used the lab where American Superbike gear is tested also.
“Motocap is the best and most comprehensive testing system in the World. It will be the system against which others are judged.
Saint spokesman Xavier Unkovich says he is “a bit disappointed” as they tested their older jeans that have two seconds of abrasion resistance compared with six seconds in their latest UB6 jeans.
“We are also very surprised about the difference in the CE test standards from institutions like SATRA compared with these at Deakin,” Xavier says.
“However, we are thrilled with the introduction of an Australian standard and will follow up to submit our latest and toughest options such as the UB6 and UB Stretch garments.”